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Bubu - The Fish Trap


The Freshwater for Future initiative aims to improve the resilience and management of freshwater species, habitat and watershed ecosystem services for Sabah.


The Kinabatangan River in Sabah is the second longest river in Malaysia, with a length of 560 kilometres from its headwaters in the mountains of southwest Sabah, to its outlet at the Sulu Sea, east of Sandakan.

Do not be surprised if you find the Orang Sungai in Kinabatangan setting up their "bubu" (fish trap) on dry land. Such practice shows their in-depth ecological knowledge of local hydrology and timing. The trap is set when the river level is low and they expect the level to rise where the trap is set.

According to them, fish usually forage along the riparian and under trees. "Bubu" located in such spots stand to yield a better catch.

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